To say I was raised in church is an understatement. I was not a preacher's kid, but I was the deacon's daughter. If the doors were open, we were there. But even if they weren't, we had a key. While my sister expressed her rebellious bone and wasn't always crazy about this part of our growing up, I loved it. Honestly. The people there were my family, family that I only got to see once a week. Unless they were in my age group, then I saw them on Wednesday's too. Or the church office, which I saw almost daily. Nonetheless, I loved them. From young to old.
The girls in my age group were my best friend's growing up. They still are today. We were a group of 5 who went through everything together. We arrived early each Sunday before Sunday School to sip coffee and chit chat and giggle over our dates the night before. We spent every birthday together. We cried over mistakes together, grieved over the sins of our youth we were so ashamed over. We mourned together over losses, including one of our own who suddenly and very unexpectedly lost her life. They all stood by me as my beautiful bridesmaids as I promised my life to a wonderful man. Without church, I wouldn't have had them.
I also wouldn't have had the sweet old ladies in the pews a few down from me who insist on being my surrogate grandmothers since mine are already in heaven. They are the sweetest ladies I know, I hope to be like them one day. They truly love me, and showered me with such genorosity the weeks leading to our wedding. My favorite being the precious one who handed me a pink tool box full of tools with a note that said...Honey, a husband should share many things..but not his tools...so here are your own. It was probably one of my favorite gifts.
I never had a brother either. But the men in the church filled in there as well. When I started bringing a nice young man with me to church, I can't count the number of them that gave him a stern "talking to" in the hallways after service. Its a wonder he ever stuck around long enough to get on one knee and ask me for forever. It's something we both look back and laugh upon.
So yes, Sundays have always been my favorite. I suppose they always will be. It's the day I get to seek my Father and linger in His Presence. It's the day I get to see my extended family within those church walls. They always shower me with hugs and ask me how the newlywed life is, and I get to gush over how dreamy I think it is. These days are a blessing. Consider me grateful.
Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. -Ephesians 5:1
If you live on the east coast, please know you are in my constant prayers as Hurricane Sandy draws near. He is bigger. Always.